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EURO 2024: Group Stage Recap – Matchday 2 & 3

All 24 teams have now played twice and we are starting to see the top teams begin to settle in to the tournament after a frantic matchday 1. We did, however, see our first goalless draw on matchday 2. It took over 8 days and 20 matches, but the heavyweight clash between France and the Netherlands was a tight, tense affair, with neither side able to break the deadlock.

Matchday 2: EURO 2024

Kevin De Bruyne EURO 2024
STUTTGART, GERMANY – JUNE 26: Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium reacts during the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Ukraine and Belgium at Stuttgart Arena on June 26, 2024 in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo by Carl Recine/Getty Images)

Tournament host’s Germany continue to impress and a comfortable 2-0 victory over Hungary was another opportunity to see the free-flowing, attacking football Nagelsmann has them playing at the minute. The win secures their passage through to the last 16.

In the other match group A, Scotland and Switzerland played out a 1-1 draw. After a below par performance in their opening match against Germany, Scotland were unlucky not to come away with all 3 points after taking the lead early on. The draw leaves the Scots with a chance of progressing if they can overcome Hungary in the final match of the group.

A number of teams, such as Belgium, Austria, & Ukraine, that suffered defeats on matchday 1 were able to bounce back with wins in the 2nd round of games that firmly ignited their chances of progressing further in the tournament.

Belgium Captain Kevin De Bruyne capped off a brilliant individual performance by scoring the clinching goal in their 2-0 victory over Romania. The win leaves all four teams in Group E with 3 points heading into the final round, which is Belgium vs. Ukraine & Slovakia vs. Romania.

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Once again, England produced a below par performance drawing 1-1 with Denmark. Gareth Southgate continues to come under pressure from the English media as his side have yet to produce anywhere close to their best in this tournament so far. Denmark will feel they could’ve claimed all 3 points as they dominated large parts of the match after England took the lead on 18 minutes.

Spain continued their unbeaten start with a 1-0 win over Euro 2020 holders Italy. After a dominant performance with Rodri pulling the strings in midfield alongside the lively Nico Williams and Lamine Yamal playing in their first International tournament, there seems to be renewed confidence surrounding this Spanish team and a run to the latter parts of this summers competition is not out of the equation.

Along with Germany in group A, Portugal also confirmed their qualification from group F with a 3-0 win over Turkey. The link-up play between Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes & Cristiano Ronaldo is causing opposition teams numerous problems. If the Portuguese are to replicate their Euro 2016 success, these three will be crucial.

Ahead of the final round of group games, the majority of last 16 places are still up for grabs making for a very interesting few days ahead.

Matchday 3:

Group AA dramatic late winning goal by Hungarian substitute Kevin Csoboth ended Scotland’s hopes of qualifying. In the battle for top spot, Niklas Fulkrug came off the bench to score and secure a draw for Germany against Switzerland, claiming top spot in the process.

Last 16 ties: Germany V Denmark, Switzerland V Italy.

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Group BAn equalising goal late into stoppage time from Mattia Zcagni broke Croatian hearts as Italy managed to earn a 1-1 draw and a runner-up spot in the group. Spain expectantly topped the group and came out on top with a 1-0 victory over Albania with a Ferran Torres goal.

Last 16 ties: Spain V Georgia, Italy V Switzerland.

Group C – A drab final round produced 0 goals with England taking top spot, Denmark 2nd and Slovenia progressed due to being one of the best 3rd placed finishers.

Last 16 ties: England V Slovakia, Denmark V Germany, Slovenia V Portugal.

Group D – In the game of the round, Austria overturned the Netherlands 3-2 to take top spot in the group. Ronald Koeman’s side were unable to cope with the Austrians high-press as they deservedly secured the win with a well worked Marcel Sabitzer goal in the 80th minute meaning the Netherlands had to settle for qualification through a best 3rd place spot. A penalty apiece from Kylian Mbappe and Robert Lewandowski was the outcome in Dortmund as France and Poland played out a 1-1 draw with the French left to settle for 2nd spot while Poland were sent home.

Last 16 ties: Austria V Turkey, France V Belgium, Netherlands V Romania.

Group E – In a bizarre group with all teams finishing on four points, making it the first European Championship and the first major tournament since the 1994 FIFA World Cup where all teams in a group had the same amount of points. In the final round of matches, Romania and Slovakia played out a 1-1 draw while it was a dull, scoreless draw between Belgium and Ukraine. The final standings were decided on goal difference with Romania taking top spot, Belgium 2nd, Slovakia 3rd and Ukraine finishing bottom.

Last 16 ties: Romania V Netherlands, Belgium V France, Slovakia V England.

Group F – Portugal were guaranteed top spot in this group before the final round of games but nonetheless a 2-0 victory for Georgia against the Portugese was a huge surprise and a massive result for the Georgians who secured 3rd spot and qualification to the next round. In a tense encounter, Turkey defeated Czech Republic 2-1 in Hamburg to seal 2nd spot and a last 16 match with Austria.

Last 16 ties: Portugal V Slovenia, Turkey V Austria, Georgia V Spain.

We now look forward to the real meat of the competition, with the best nations playing each other with the opportunity of European glory on the line.

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